Impact of community organization of women on perinatal outcomes in rural Bolivia

University of Texas-Houston, School of Public Health, El Paso 79902, USA.
Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública (Impact Factor: 0.85). 01/1998; DOI: 10.1590/S1020-49891998000100002
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT An intervention to improve maternal and child health was conducted in a remote Bolivian province with limited access to modern medical facilities. The intervention focused on initiating and strengthening women's organizations, developing women's skills in problem identification and prioritization, and training community members in safe birthing techniques. Its impact was evaluated by comparing perinatal mortality rates and obstetric behavior among 409 women before and after the intervention. Perinatal mortality decreased from 117 deaths per 1 000 births before the intervention to 43.8 deaths per 1 000 births after. There was a significant increase in the number of women participating in women's organizations following the intervention, as well as in the number of organizations. The proportion of women receiving prenatal care and initiating breast-feeding on the first day after birth was also significantly larger. The number of infants attended to immediately after delivery likewise increased, but the change was not statistically significant. This study demonstrates that community organization can improve maternal and child health in remote areas.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Geography poses serious challenges to delivery of health services and is a well documented marker of inequity. Maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) outcomes are poorer in mountainous regions of low and lower-middle income countries due to geographical inaccessibility combined with other barriers: poorer quality services, persistent cultural and traditional practices and lower socioeconomic and educational status. Reaching universal coverage goals will require attention for remote mountain settings. This study aims to identify strategies to address barriers to reproductive MNCH (RMNCH) service utilisation in difficult-to-reach mountainous regions in low and lower-middle income settings worldwide. A systematic literature review drawing from MEDLINE, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Eldis. Inclusion was based on; testing an intervention for utilisation of RMNCH services; remote mountain settings of low- and lower-middle income countries; selected study designs. Studies were assessed for quality and analysed to present a narrative review of the key themes. From 4,130 articles 34 studies were included, from Afghanistan, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Tajikistan. Strategies fall into four broad categories: improving service delivery through selected, trained and supported community health workers (CHWs) to act alongside formal health workers and the distribution of critical medicines to the home; improving the desirability of existing services by addressing the quality of care, innovative training and supervision of health workers; generating demand by engaging communities; and improving health knowledge for timely care-seeking. Task shifting, strengthened roles of CHWs and volunteers, mobile teams, and inclusive structured planning forums have proved effective. The review highlights where known evidence-based strategies have increased the utilisation of RMNCH services in low income mountainous areas. While these are known strategies in public health, in such disadvantaged settings additional supports are required to address both supply and demand barriers.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e87683. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fetal and neonatal mortality rates in low-income countries are at least 10-fold greater than in high-income countries. These differences have been related to poor access to and poor quality of obstetric and neonatal care. This trial tested the hypothesis that teams of health care providers, administrators and local residents can address the problem of limited access to quality obstetric and neonatal care and lead to a reduction in perinatal mortality in intervention compared to control locations. In seven geographic areas in five low-income and one middle-income country, most with high perinatal mortality rates and substantial numbers of home deliveries, we performed a cluster randomized non-masked trial of a package of interventions that included community mobilization focusing on birth planning and hospital transport, community birth attendant training in problem recognition, and facility staff training in the management of obstetric and neonatal emergencies. The primary outcome was perinatal mortality at >=28 weeks gestation or birth weight >=1000 g. Despite extensive effort in all sites in each of the three intervention areas, no differences emerged in the primary or any secondary outcome between the intervention and control clusters. In both groups, the mean perinatal mortality was 40.1/1,000 births (P = 0.9996). Neither were there differences between the two groups in outcomes in the last six months of the project, in the year following intervention cessation, nor in the clusters that best implemented the intervention. This cluster randomized comprehensive, large-scale, multi-sector intervention did not result in detectable impact on the proposed outcomes. While this does not negate the importance of these interventions, we expect that achieving improvement in pregnancy outcomes in these settings will require substantially more obstetric and neonatal care infrastructure than was available at the sites during this trial, and without them provider training and community mobilization will not be sufficient. Our results highlight the critical importance of evaluating outcomes in randomized trials, as interventions that should be effective may not be.Trial registration: NCT01073488.
    BMC Medicine 10/2013; 11(1):215. · 6.68 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Maternal and newborn deaths occur predominantly in low-resource settings. Community-based packages of evidence-based interventions and skilled birth attendance can reduce these deaths. The Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP) used community-level health workers to conduct prenatal Community Maternal and Newborn Health family meetings to build skills and care-seeking behaviors among pregnant women and family caregivers. Baseline and endline surveys provided data on a random sample of women with a birth in the prior year. An intention-to-treat analysis, plausible net effect calculation, and dose-response analysis examined increases in completeness of care (mean percentage of 17 maternal and newborn health care elements performed) over time and by meeting participation. Regression models assessed the relationship between meeting participation, completeness of care, and use of skilled providers or health extension workers for birth care-controlling for sociodemographic and health service utilization factors. A 151% increase in care completeness occurred from baseline to endline. At endline, women who participated in 2 or more meetings had more complete care than women who participated in fewer than 2 meetings (89% vs 76% of care elements; P < .001). A positive dose-response relationship existed between the number of meetings attended and greater care completeness (P < .001). Women with any antenatal care were nearly 3 times more likely to have used a skilled provider or health extension worker for birth care. Women who had additionally attended 2 or more meetings with family members were over 5 times as likely to have used these providers, compared to women without antenatal care and who attended fewer than 2 meetings (odds ratio, 5.19; 95% confidence interval, 2.88-9.36; P < .001). MaNHEP's family meetings complemented routine antenatal care by engaging women and family caregivers in self-care and care-seeking, resulting in greater completeness of care and more highly skilled birth care.
    Journal of midwifery & women's health 01/2014; 59 Suppl 1:S44-54. · 1.13 Impact Factor


Available from